Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Jitters

During our 5 day camping trip with the homeschool folks, Bill and I hosted a coffee tasting. We tested:
- Starbucks Via VERSUS Nescafe Instant
- Starbucks blend VERSUS Seattle Mt Roasting Co
- French Press VERSUS Brikka

Drinking various coffees over the course of several hours with friends rates high on my fun meter. 6 cups of coffee later, though, I was seriously buzzed. My agitated self engaged in conversation with several people about the strengths of various brews. Some of the numbers seemed skewed to me, so I looked them up. They weren't.

Shockingly, my innocent cup of drip is the most jittery of them all. Here's what I learned about the punch behind some of my favorite drinks.
Starbuck's* drip (12 oz) 240 mg
Starbuck's decaf drip 12 mg
Starbuck's single shot (1 oz) 89 mg
Starbuck's decaf shot 8 mg
Brewed black tea 40 mg
Hot Cocoa 14 mg

*I use Starbucks as a random category because amount of caffine varies greatly depending on everything from type of bean to which farm to roasting techniques.

On the occasionally consumed soda side:
Diet Coke (12 oz) 45.6 mg
Barq's Root Beer (12 oz) 23.0 mg

Back to the coffee tasting, the winner for me was clearly french pressed Seattle Mountain Coffee. In the caffine ratings, French press as a "brewed" coffee has a smaller amount of caffine than drip (about 1/3 less-ish). Which puts it at about 170 mg. Or a double shot of espresso. Yee haw!

In the instant competition, the Via tasted good. Next to it the Nescafe was painful, and I tossed it in the bushes after 2 sips. I'd definitely take the Via traveling with me, and I'm looking forward to trying the Via decaf when they release it.

Currently, I'm sworn off caffeine all together. When I choose to indulge again, I'll be well prepared.

In researching caffeine numbers, here were my favorite sources:

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